Category Archives: Space Models

Master Replicas Group captures Tycho Crater and Olympus Mons in resin

Master Replicas uses 3D printing, hand painting, and other techniques to produce finely detailed models. Here is a video on how they created a replica of the Moon’s Tycho Crater, the first in their Space Terrains line:

Other space related products


Bigelow module on ISS to be expanded to full size this week. Build your own origami version.

On April 8th, a SpaceX Dragon spaceship delivered a load of cargo to the Int. Space Station. An important item in that cargo was an experimental habitat module in the unpressurized “trunk” section of the Dragon. This module is called the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module or  BEAM. It was built by Bigelow Aerospace, which is developing expandable structures that can be launched in compressed mode and then expanded to a size much bigger than could be launched directly.


On April 16th, astronauts aboard the ISS used a robotic arm to extract the BEAM from the Dragon and attached it to a ISS module. Here is a time lapse video showing the extraction and berthing:

This Thursday, astronauts will carefully release air into the BEAM to expand it to its full volume. The process will be webcast on NASA TV starting at 5:30 a.m. EDT: Watch NASA Deploy First Expandable Habitat at Space Station – NASA.

Here is a video showing how you can create an origami version of BEAM:

Download the printable BEAM module paper and crew procedures with full instructions:… to view or download the ‘crew procedures,’ which contain step by step instructions on how to print and fold your BEAM module. This video will walk you through folding a paper module in real-time.

Here is an infographic from NASA showing some of the essential features of BEAM:


ESA uses LEGO ExoMars model in rover operations simulation

The European Space Agency (ESA) reports that a Lego ExoMars rover model can help with visualization of a rover’s movements in simulated remote control operations:

Lego ExoMars model


This Lego model of Europe’s ExoMars rover on its lander was not built solely for fun – but is actually a tool, being used by robotics engineers in the midst of a major ‘egress’ test campaign.

Making a safe landing on Mars will be key to the success of Europe’s mobile Mars mission. Then comes the next most important step: to successfully drive the wheeled rover from the top of its lander, otherwise known as egress.

The biggest decision of all will be which direction to drive – forwards or backwards – based on the limited data that operators have to hand. The lander will have two sets of tracks for the rover to descend in case one side is blocked, for instance by rocks (one also reproduced here in Lego).

To build up experience of egress and remote rover operations, ESA’s Automation and Robotics section together with ESOC’s Advance Mission Concepts section are conducting a long-distance test campaign in collaboration with the French space agency CNES. The ExoMars project team is monitoring the ongoing activities.

A half-scale rover on a mock-up lander has been placed in the outdoor 80 x 50 m ‘Mars Yard’ at CNES Toulouse. An operations team based a thousand kilometres away at ESA’s ESTEC technical centre in the Netherlands has first to egress the rover, then move it further across the simulated Marscape to explore and accomplish various tasks.

Across a series of tests that continue throughout this week, the ESTEC team has no knowledge of the lander’s precise placing but must work with the limited camera views and sensor data the rover and lander sends back to them, with results received and telecommands sent during a limited set of communication passes.

The Lego model lets the engineers easily visualise and communicate complicated telemetry data.

This campaign follows on from a previous egress campaign that took place last autumn.